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Applications open for 1800MHz auction

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority is inviting applications to participate in the November 2015 auction of spectrum licences in the 1800 MHz band. The ACMA will auction spectrum in markets throughout regional Australia in the ranges 1725 1785 MHz and 1820 1880 MHz, as well as residual spectrum from the recently completed reissue of expiring spectrum licences in the band.

The ACMA expects there will be widespread interest in this band, which is internationally-harmonised for mobile broadband applications. The auction format will allow the spectrum, divided into 147 lots, to be offered simultaneously using an online auction methodology.

The invitation is set out in a comprehensive Applicant Information Pack (AIP) comprising an auction guide, relevant legislative instruments and accompanying explanatory statements and the auction forms booklet. The closing date for applications is 1 October 2015.

The AIP includes details of the starting price for all lots, as shown in the table at the end of this release. The starting prices also function as the reserve prices for each lot and have been calculated on the basis of $0.08/MHz/pop, a figure chosen to maximise the overall public benefit with a view to ensuring the efficient allocation and use of the spectrum.

In accordance with a direction from the Minister for Communications, the auction rules prohibit any party from acquiring more than 2 x25 MHz of the available spectrum in the auction, thereby intending to promote diversity and competition amongst potential users.

"The release of the AIP allows interested parties to consider the vital information on the 1800 MHz band auction," said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman. "This includes details of the auction process and other key issues such as eligibility payments and the reserve or starting price."

For the 1800 MHz band auction, the ACMA will conduct a Simultaneous Multi Round Ascending (SMRA) auction using software developed by internationally- renowned online auction experts, Power Auctions. In an SMRA auction, all lots are open for bidding at the same time. All lots remain open as long as there are acceptable bids placed on any lot.

'spectrum is a finite natural resource," Mr Chapman said. "When demand exceeds supply for spectrum in a band, the ACMA commonly allocates spectrum by auction. This provides a transparent process to establish a market price, ensuring licences are allocated to those who value them most highly.

"The ACMA considers that the price paid by bidders at an auction should provide a reasonably accurate indication of the true market value of the spectrum and identify the highest value use of the band," he added.

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Tags: acma  1800mhz  radio spectrum  Australia